KINGSPORT — Jackie Feldman was giddy. She had a right to be.
Four months removed from knee surgery — her second such procedure in three years — the Dobyns-Bennett senior made her season debut Tuesday night at Indian Highland Park.
She marked the occasion with a superb goal, as the Lady Indians wrapped up an undefeated regular season in District 1-AAA with an 8-0 dismissal of David Crockett.
Seven different players scored for the Tribe (12-3-1, 5-0-0), who closed the regular season with nine consecutive wins. On senior night, it was, fittingly, those on their final prep journeys that shone.
Katie Clark collected three assists and a goal. Her strike partner, Gina Strickland, netted and assisted on two goals. Kate Jones, with strikes on each side of halftime, bagged a brace.
“Tonight was about our seniors,” D-B coach Shane Calvert said. “This group has been amazing.
“I’ve had them for three years, and I think this is our 49th win together, 65th for the (senior) class. That’s just huge.”
“They’re such leaders. I love them and think of them like my daughters. Every second it gets closer to them leaving, I get more and more emotional.”
Feldman has been a big part of that group.
“She’s had an unbelievable work ethic,” Calvert said of Feldman. “Her doctor didn’t think she was going to get to play, but she kept fighting the whole time. She has defied the odds and she deserves this.”
Feldman, who missed her entire sophomore year because of injury, nearly scored with her first shot Tuesday. It sailed just wide. Her second, however, was inch-perfect from 30-plus yards.
“It was kind of nerve-racking at first,” Feldman said of returning to the fray. “It was amazing to be back, though.
“It’s really hard to sit out,” she added. “I had to do it sophomore year, but, being my senior year, this has been really hard. Watching all my senior friends playing, it’s so tough.”
She was able to join them in a whitewash Tuesday.
Jacqui Payne opened the scoring, through Strickland, after just eight minutes. Two minutes later, Strickland set up Clark for the Lady Indians’ second of the night.
Four more goals surfaced before intermission, capped by senior Julie Gilmer’s side-foot finish — set up by the unselfish Clark — in added time.
Jones netted her second of the match, via a delicious cross from Amy Oreskovic, five minutes into the second period. Senior Kara Brockwell closed the scoring nine minutes from full time.
“Our girls came out well,” Calvert said. “I didn’t know what to expect for our first game in two weeks.
“I hate the big layoff, but we looked good. We really wanted to work to get back into shape with the playoffs starting next week, and I think we did that.”